Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Redskins hosting Brian de la Puente
By John Keim
The Redskins planned to shift guard Kory Lichtensteiger to center, which is why they released their incumbent starter. They might have another option: free-agent Brian de la Puente.
The former New Orleans starting center is visiting the Redskins Wednesday. The Redskins released their starting center, Will Montgomery, last week.
Lichtensteiger already knew he was going to move to center and planned to add about 10-15 pounds, bulking up to play for coach Jay Gruden after playing at a lighter weight for Mike Shanahan.
De la Puente started at center the past three seasons for the Saints. He broke in with Kansas City in 2008, but did not play a game and didn’t play in ’09 and ’10, though he was with five other teams during that span either on the practice squad or in training camp.
If the Redskins sign de la Puente, it would be their second free-agent acquisition along the line. Washington signed guard Shawn Lauvao on the opening day of free agency.
Here’s a scouting report on de la Puente from ESPN.com Saints reporter Mike Triplett:
"De la Puente could be in high demand this offseason as a proven starter who has played at a high level for the last three years. Like the rest of the Saints’ offensive line, he struggled at times during the first half of the 2013 season in both his run blocking and pass protection. But he finished very well during the second half of the year and in the playoffs -- returning to the consistent level we saw in 2011-12. De la Puente isn’t a mauler up front, but he’s got a good combination of power and athleticism -- which has served him well in the Saints’ versatile offense that relies so much on pass protection and screen passes. And his experience as a signal-caller for such a sophisticated passing offense will only enhance his market value. De la Puente certainly fit right in on a Saints offensive line filled with diamonds in the rough. He joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Cal in 2008, but he bounced around with San Francisco, Kansas City, Carolina and Seattle before landing on the Saints’ practice squad in 2010. He then earned the starting job over veteran Olin Kreutz early in the 2011 season."